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Volvo Launches Natural Gas Trucks in Europe

October 3, 2017

The new Volvo FH. Photo: Volvo Trucks
The new Volvo FH. Photo: Volvo Trucks

Sweden's Volvo Trucks has introduced two natural gas heavy-duty trucks to the European market that the OEM claims can cut CO2 emissions by 20% to 100%.

The new trucks, the Volvo FH LNG and Volvo FM LNG, can run on either biogas or natural gas and are compliant with Euro 6 engine-emissions regulations.

Volvo claims that the biogas version can cut CO2 emissions by 100% compared to the regular natural gas version that reduces CO2 emissions by 20%. This relates to emissions from the vehicle during usage, known as tank-to-wheel, according to the company.

“We regard LNG, liquefied natural gas, as a long-term first choice alternative to diesel, both for regional and long-haul truck operations where fuel efficiency, payload, and productivity are crucial. With a higher proportion of biogas, climate impact can be reduced far more,” said Lars Mårtensson, director environment and innovation at Volvo Trucks.

“For transport operations in urban environments, where range is not as critical, electrified vehicles will play a greater role in the future," he added. "Our vision is that trucks from Volvo will eventually have zero emissions, although the way of achieving that is not by one single solution, but through several solutions in parallel.”

The trucks will use 15% to 20% less fuel than current gas-powered trucks, according to Volvo. Using LNG will give the vehicles the greatest possible operating range.

Volvo Trucks noted that it is currently working with gas suppliers and customers to develop the expansion of LNG infrastructure in Europe. This effort is being supported politically in many countries and by the European Union. A strategy for expanding LNG infrastructure is also included in the European Commission and member states’ action packages for securing Europe’s long-term energy supply.

“Our new trucks running on liquefied natural gas or biogas produce a far smaller climate footprint than diesel trucks do," said Mats Franzén, product manager-- engines at Volvo Trucks. "In addition, they are much more fuel-efficient than the gas-powered trucks available on the market today. This makes gas more viable as a replacement for diesel even for heavy long-haul operations.”

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